Online lecture on the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union now available

A 90-minute illustrated lecture by Allan Berube on the history of the Marine Cooks and Stewards Union – a multi-racial, left-wing, gay-friendly labor union of the 30s and 40s –  is now accessible online.  According to, “No Red-Baiting, Race-Baiting, or Queen-Baiting!: An MCSU History” “tells the surprising and inspiring story of how ship stewards and other workers on luxury cruise liners banded together and overcame racial, sexual, and other divisions to create a militant union in the 1930s.”

WCSA Election Results


Thanks to all those who voted in this year’s election, and a special thanks to Maria Dokes for tabulating both electronic and paper ballots.

~ The 2015-16 Elections Committee (Cherie Rankin, Lisa Kirby, and Jack Metzgar)

Here’s our line-up of officers for 2016-17:

Steering Committee

President: Michele Fazio, University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Past President: Tim Strangleman, University of Kent, UK

President-Elect: Terry Easton, University of North Georgia

Secretary: Courtney Maloney, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design

Treasurer: Ken Estey, Brooklyn College

Working-Class Academics Chair: Allison Hurst, Oregon State University

At-large members:  

Sara Appel, Independent Scholar

Scott Henkel, University of Wyoming

Katherine Kidd, University of Pittsburgh

Colby King, Bridgewater State University

Elections Committee:  Jackie Gabriel, Western State Colorado University; Lisa Kirby, Collin College; Jack Metzgar, Roosevelt U.

Working-Class Academics Chair-Elect: Mara Fridell, University of Manitoba




Electoral Politics & Working-Class Literature

Sherry Linkon’s essay, “To Really Understand Working-Class Voters, Read These Books,” was published by Moyers & Company.  She argues contemporary working-class writers such as Tawni O’DellPhilipp MeyerStewart O’Nan, and Grady Hendrix delve into aspects of working-class life that are often misunderstood by political pundits and scholars.

James Green

We are saddened to learn about the passing of labor historian James Green.  LAWCHA, the Labor and Working-Class History Association, has placed this call: “If you would like to share your remembrance of the late James Green to be posted on our remembrance page in celebration of his life, please send them to”

Below are links honoring his work as a scholar and activist:

James N. Gregory, “James Green, 1944-2016,” LAWCHA

David Frank, “James Green (1944-2016): Labour History and Public History,” Acadiensis

Bryan Marquard, “James Green, 71, UMass Boston labor historian and writer,” The Boston Globe

Sam Roberts, “James Green, Author and Human Rights Activist, Dies at 71,” The New York Times



WCSA Lifetime Achievement Award

Please join us in congratulating Jack Metztgar, past-President of the WCSA, for receiving the WCSA Lifetime Achievement Award as well as all the other award recipients for their rich contributions to the field of working-class studies.  Awards were distributed at Friday night’s banquet held during the How Class Works conference.

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WCSA President’s Report

Letter from the President

I just returned from the How Class Works conference at Stony Brook. First I’d like to thank Mike Zweig and his team for the great job he did. This was Mike’s last event before he retires and we want to wish him all the best in the future. Be sure to view the images from the conference posted on our website.

I wanted to write my last message as president to update you on developments and to try to keep the momentum from the conference going.

  • As you will know Liz Giuffre and Sarah Attfield are developing the Journal of Working Class Studies with the aim of the late summer for the first issue. This is a major step forward for the WCSA and we hope that you will become actively involved in the journal as a contributor, reviewer or reader.
  • Our website is a fantastically important resource for the field and Michele Fazio has done a great job on building and developing new content. Check out the site for conference updates and photos from the Stony Brook Conference.
  • We have set ourselves the ambitious target of doubling the membership of the WCSA over the next year. This is vital if we want to sustain and build the field of Working Class Studies. Please, if you haven’t already done so, renew your membership, or consider taking out a three year membership. Please encourage friends and colleagues to join and consider getting your institution or organisation to take out an institutional subscription. Membership forms are on the website.
  • Our next conference will be in Bloomington, Indiana in late May/early June 2017. Joe Varga and his team will circulate a call for papers very soon.
  • Later this month, the WCSA Elections Committee will be organising the vote for the new posts and steering committee.  Please take an active role in your Association.
  • Finally, I’d like to give my thanks to the steering committee and especially Michele Fazio, Christie Launius, and Ken Estey for their huge support and help during my presidency of the WCSA.  Michele Fazio will become the new WCSA president from the election.

This next year will be a really exciting one of the WCSA and I hope you will become as involved as you can in building the field.

In comradeship,
Tim Strangleman
President of the WCSA